Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Top Ten Christmas Memories

Dear Boy and His Uncle Bubba

10 The memory that I penned for Write Integrity Press about the year just before Sweet Hubby and I got married. We traveled through four states that year and Christmased in three of them! You can read the article HERE!

9 One year my brother and I got my mom an antique piano and on Christmas day, we did a scavenger hunt for her all over East Texas to help her find her gift.

8 And then there was the year that I got my brother a rubber chicken with Christmas ornaments hanging out of its ears. (Do chickens even have ears?) That one event established a tradition for every year. I work at finding a goofy gift to go with my brother’s personality. Last year it was a dancing snowman and they year before that, I found a Santa that shouted “Smelly Christmas” and then tooted Jingle Bells. Perfect for his humor! Ha!

Two From Galilee - The First Noel7 This year’s production of Two From Galilee was an amazing event. This year will definitely go high in my memory archives.

6 One of the craziest memories of a Christmas was the year we got my dog, Marcie, from “Santa.” A sweet, almost three-year-old beagle, she didn’t seem tall enough to get to my table. Until I found her nose deep in my cheesecake ball after our lunch.

5 I loved the year that I announced the birth of my twins, of course, I didn’t know they were twins at that point. I gave my dad a package with a diaper (yes, clean) inside. Then sat there and snapped pictures while the truth dawned on him.

4 That reminds me of the Christmas party when I told my mom about that pregnancy. At the party, we had the waiter bring her a baby bottle as all the other drinks were being delivered.

Frosty at the Gaylord Texan3 Then there was the Christmas when my son got his bicycle and my daughter got skates. Sweet hubby, nephew, and I all got skates as well, so we all walked out to the park behind our house and spent the afternoon rolling around, falling, and laughing.

2 Jelly jars! My sweet hubby’s most embarrassing Christmas came when my mom invited one of her friends to our celebration. Sweet Hubby spent a couple of weeks perfecting homemade jam and even picked out cute Christmas glasses to give them in. (He’s a farmboy married to a city girl. What can I say?) So when our guest opened her gift, he explained that he hadn’t wanted to use boring jelly jars for the gift. The next thing he opened … can you guess? Yes, our guest had also made jam, but in “boring jelly jars.”

1 And our guest didn’t let Sweet Hubby forget it! My number 1 memory came the next year when she celebrated with us again. She made a point to leave notes on all of her gift containers like, “Nothing boring about a PopTart box!” My Sweet Hubby’s ears reddened both years!


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K is for KIDS

Last week, I shared my plans for the weekend, St. Patrick’s day greenness.

Not ALL of my ideas got shared, but I posted some decidedly un-green photos that had inspired me, so today I thought I’d share the real thing. Some of the most unappetizing-looking food items I’ve ever put into my mouth. Yet my kids were delighted. Dinky Twinkies kept hugging me. “Mom, you are the best!” (Music to my ears!) And Precious Redhead gave her own kind of teenage compliment when she posted about our silly string fight on Facebook saying, “I did not think my mom was so random as that.”

Doing for my kids made me think of how I am to the Lord. There’s a reason why He calls us His children. Jesus even said as much in Mark 10:14 when He declares that the kingdom of heaven is “such” as these. In Mark 10:15 He goes further saying, “Truly I say to you that whoever does not receive the kingdom of heaven like a child will not enter it.”

Kids are naturally trusting. I saw that when I pulled out the silly string and decorated all three girls before they could react. (I probably shouldn’t have stopped to take the pictures, though. That’s when they ganged up on me and stole my can!) But kids will react with trust  to those who have shown them love and kindness. (Oh I should feel so bad!) The point is, my trusting of the Lord should be with my whole heart. Eyes wide. Arms open.

Kids are full of wonder. Even my teenagers still sparkle when something stirs them, but when they were toddlers. Oh my. Think of a bright Christmas tree with all of the colors, movement, and lights and packed with presents underneath. Unsure at first, their mouths would drop open and they would clap their hands. Sometimes even give a little hop. We’re supposed to be that way with the amazing blessings God rains down on us every day.

Kids are so grateful. Along with that wonder often comes big hugs and laughter. Sometimes “thank you” sneaks out, but the true gratefulness is the rapture that fills their faces. Our lives are supposed to be big-time thank-yous right back to God for all He has done for us. We deserve none of His gifts, especially our redemption. The airs of entitlement disperse, our attitude should remain entirely focused on gratitude.

I know the pictures are a little goofy – and some of the food made me GAG! But this weekend not only blessed me with my family, it reminded me of who and whose I am.